Watching The Lost City is like falling into a delirious dream on a marathon train ride only to be roused every 15 minutes by a conductor punching your ticket or barking out the next stop.
Director Andy Garcia and screenwriter G. Cabrera Infante stick to their admirable purpose of portraying Cuba under President Fulgencio Batista in all its confusion and complexity. They don't reduce history to Castro's forces sweeping into Havana on Jan. 1, 1959, and ousting a monolithic dictator. These moviemakers strive for a nuanced portrait of bourgeois democrats struggling to fight Batista after his regime turns bloody and repressive, then finding themselves without a home in Castro's Cuba. Garcia, who lived in Havana until he was 5 1/2 , boasts talent and conviction as well as ambition. Shot in the Dominican Republic, the movie feels lush and looks fabulous. Unfortunately, Garcia's storytelling doesn't match his gifts for texture and romance.
The Lost City (Magnolia) Starring Andy Garcia, Dustin Hoffman, Enrique Murciano, Tomas Milian, Bill Murray, Ines Sastre. Directed by Andy Garcia. Rated R. Time 143 minutes.